Tuesday, December 1, 2009

#32 - Crocs





It was the decade when...


Mario Batali started a footwear frenzy!


Crocs are not a shoe. Crocs are not a fashion trend. Crocs are not for adults. Crocs are a toy. A candy colored plaything fit only for party clowns at childrens birthday parties. Orthopedic Tupperware, the only thing more shocking than how ugly crocs are is how many grown men and women actually ware (wore) the plastic beasts.

Of course, they are not plastic. Don't you dare call them plastic. Crocs are made out of Croslite, which sounds like the name of either a company that will freeze-dry your cadavourous head for future regeneration or an overpriced crockery brand. Styled like a dutch clog without the handcrafted charm, crocs began life as boat shoes, utilitarian and slip resistant, and on deck is where they should have stayed.

I blame Mario Batali. How a heavyset, television celebrity-chef with no fashion sense came to be the footwear's biggest PR ambassador is something of a mystery. (And why anyone at Crocs thought this was a good marketing move is beyond me, but, bizarrely, it was.) Matching the Jack O' Lantern hue of his hair, Batali's orange crocs came to be the chef's calling card. Molto Mario was often seen bandying about New York in his Tropicana colored plastic shoes, giving the brand an ostentatious display in the fashion capital of the country. It wasn't long before the company signed the Chef up to sponsor his own Croc product line.

Crocs Inc. earned as many haters as devotees. Most legitimate press coverage veered toward the perplexed if not downright critical. The company, drunk off its quick and massive success, expanded fast, opening independent retail stores, advertising itself as a "lifestyle brand." How does one make Crocs a lifestyle? What was their dream? Rubber hats? Rubber belts? Rubber Undies?

Luckily, Crocs are fast becoming an over-exposed fashion faux pas; a flash in the pan that quickly devolved into a nostalgic punchline, like the Dolorean or love beads. Though they might be marshmallow soft to the heel, and though devoted Croc wearers may still swear by them, their legacy is as inevitably silly as their visual aesthetic. Croc-A-Doodle-Doo! The brand's fifteen minutes if fame is up.

You AUGHT to Remember.

5 comments:

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